When I was 4 years old, I cut my bangs. Where they used to sit in a straight even line, one fingers width above my eyebrows- I cut one big chunk right in the middle of my forhead, so it was about a centimeter from my scalp. I remember looking in the mirror thinking how absolutely “cool” I now looked. When I emerged from the bathroom, mom didn’t share the same enthusiasm for my new do’. I had to sit in my room the rest of the night and “wait for my father”. When dad got home I was scolded. Placed on his knee, I was fixated with the lines his forehead made from his scowl. I tried to count them but couldn’t count high enough.
I was sent to my room the rest of the night, and told never to cut my own hair again.
If you read this, you may be thinking how ‘normal’ this is. It’s even sort of cute. And yes, I would agree. However ‘normal’ this type of parenting, behavior, reactions, may be in our society, it doesn’t change the fact that it was the start of the instillment of a false belief that took me 21 years to figure out I even had.
That belief is: My body is not mine.
Or to put it in other terms: Other people share ownership of my body. Other people can make decisions for me about what I do with my body. I am not allowed to be in full control of my body. etc. My body is not solely, completely, 100%, my own.
It’s very subtle information, that is not even processed at the time. Over my life there were struggles over when I could/couldn’t shave my legs. What types of clothes I chose to wear. When I was allowed to wear a bra. Arguments over haircuts every summer. There was conflict over me choosing vegetarianism. Battles over me doing yoga. War over my sexual activity… Which eventually led to being kicked out of my house at 17. I think my parents did not like the choices I was making for my own body ( yoga, vegetarianism, sex, etc) and felt outraged they could no longer participate in the ‘decision making process.’ *scoff*
But this all lead to the programming that other people share in the decision making process in what happens to my body.
All of this stuff, is incredibly subtle. Can I stress that enough? Inconceivably minute. I’m talking computer programming stuff, sub conscious understandings of the world, the stuff that psychologists try to understand ‘How Our Personalities are Formed’ type shit. But how does it play in today?
We have politicians. White upper class men. Who feel it is their god given duty to dictate to Womyn What they can and can’t do with their bodies. They want to narrow my options for effective birth control. They wan’t to tell when I can or can not have a child. What type of birthing experience I am allowed to have. My access to sexual health information and statistics. All this and I am not even allowed to say the word ‘Vagina’??
Why do we allow this to happen? You may say we do not. That there are womyn (and men) who fight the good fight daily. Writing legislators, peaceful protesting, educating others. I agree. But this has been going on since Jesus’s day… Why do we STILL allow it to happen?
We are hit constantly every day of our lives, since the day we are born, that someone else ‘owns’ our body. Even if you grew up with parents unlike mine, you still watched television right? You still saw billboards, and product ads, and magazines, and newspapers, and went to school, and church, and existed in a deeply indoctrinated world. We are hit subconsciously with the message that it’s OK for others to influence our bodies/lives.Without going into too much detail here, if you still have no idea what I am talking about, ask yourself: how are womyn portrayed (in any given area mentioned above)?
The white crusty men will never stop. They have been around since the beginning, and will be here till the end. As long as there are people, there will be other people who want to control them. Fighting them does and will not change anything, if it has not changed within yourself.
I have realized that I can not blame the elite, blame the politicians, blame my parents, blame my society. That I need to take responsibility for my views and reality. That in order to change anything, the messages and the programming need to be changed within my own self.
Change in your mind everything you have accepted to be true. Change your subconscious beliefs. Don’t let other people make choices for you. It’s not about them, its about you.
Its when we give our power away to others, we give them permission to make our decisions for us. When we give our power away to the men-in-black to decide if I can abort my unplanned child, what do you think they will decide?
I’m learning to own my power, and own my decisions. I’m learning to change my subtle patterns, and replace the negative with nurturing. I think this is the only way the decrepit old men will ever be beat, is if we don’t give them permission to run our lives anymore.
My body is mine, not yours! Get your own!